We all have worries – right? Regardless of our age, everyone has had a worry from time to time. A 10 year old girl named Sarah* worried daily about whether another child in her classroom would get sick and make her sick. An 8 year old boy named Rich* worried that his mom might get into a car accident after dropping him off at school. A teenager named Jessica* worried that people judged her all day long at school so she was afraid to speak much to anyone.
Some common worries involve health and safety of ourselves or loved ones, job and school performance, financial concerns, even whether we may have offended someone at the office party last night. Occasional worries that are manageable and do not interfere significantly with our day to day lives are quite normal. However, when worries become so frequent or so large that they lead to tears, avoidance, physical problems or even panic attacks, then it is time to take some action.
Here is an interview with Dr. Wendy Rice discussing more on this topic and how to help your child cope with these types of fears and anxieties:
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Fortunately, many types of mental problems such as anxiety react positively to psychotherapies and medications. One of the specialized therapies used is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is where the therapist and client work together to identify and solve behavioral, social and emotional problems. CBT has been shown to be effective in the treatment of all anxiety disorders in addition to mood, eating disorders, and substance abuse.
Some useful CBT skills for children faced with anxiety include:
- How to identify and label their anxious feelings
- How to use relaxation techniques to calm anxiety
- How to practice coping with anxiety-causing situations in a step-by-step manner
- How to use apt problem solving skills
- How to identify anxious thoughts and develop coping thoughts that are more adaptive
- How to self-monitor their coping efforts to become more and more effective in managing anxiety
At Rice Psychology Group, our main goal of treatment with anxiety is to help children learn to recognize when they are anxious; talk about their nervous thoughts and feelings, and to learn skills to cope with anxiety, rather than escaping or avoiding anxiety-provoking situations.
If you would like to learn more about we can help, please contact us now.
*Please note – names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.